After we exclusively detailed a bunch of new features and features in a pre-release One UI 5.0 beta build, Samsung has quietly rolled out its Android 13 preview to a small pool of nations. Here are the biggest and most notable additions.
Samsung isn’t known for making big changes with One UI, and while the look and feel is tweaked, it’s hard to tell what’s changed at first glance. In typical Samsung fashion, however, there are countless functional changes and additions. The Korean company certainly knows how to add functionality without massively changing the “core” experience. However, some features that we’ve already seen in Google’s Pixel range with the current Android 13 beta have made the One UI 5.0.
Video – One UI 5.0 Beta: The most important new features
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Minor changes to fingerprint animation
The in-display fingerprint animation in One UI 5.0 Beta has an incredibly minor change from One UI 4.1. Instead of the regular outward ripple, the unlock ripple has a faster “vortex” effect that spreads as the ripple expands. This is most noticeable on lighter colored wallpapers, but it is purely a cosmetic change.
Improved support for Material You and Dynamic Color
One UI doesn’t follow Material You’s design guidelines, but it does inherit many of the principles with backlit device designs. The first beta of One UI 5.0 includes further tweaks in the Background Image & Style section, with even more tonal options added to the Color Palette section.
The swatch picker also connects to a Basic Colors tab, which gives you a choice from eight solo color presets and another four dual-tone options like Pixel phones. Unlike Pixel, you can also turn off the Dynamic Color/Palette feature entirely if you prefer the default system settings. This resets everything to a standardized blue, with all apps following the default tones and accents.
Google’s Material You-style permission request pop-ups are now also used in One UI, with colored buttons and clearer activation restrictions. This replaces the list style permission popups in One UI 4.1 and older.
The excellent stackable widget feature gets even easier in One UI 5.0 Beta as you can create the scrollable quick look widgets by simply long pressing on an existing widget on your home screen. In One UI 4.1 and older, you need to create a dedicated “smart widget” that can be edited similarly.
You can now also auto-rotate widgets in a stack depending on your Galaxy screen’s orientation. A long press followed by a tap on the Edit Batch button opens more controls to set, with a toggle allowing you to enable auto-rotation for widgets.
Improved mini popup UI
When an incoming call comes in and you run an app, you’ll see an updated mini-popup UI that includes more visuals and a clearer drop-down menu for quick actions. Reply and Reject buttons are now moved to the side without text labels and animated icons.
Quick call notes
During a call, you now have the option to quickly take notes by tapping the three dots menu in the top right. Any notes you make are saved with the caller, but no details of the time or date that call took place. It’s not clear if this is a feature limited to devices with S Pen support.
Custom caller backgrounds
The default Samsung dialer app now also allows you to fully customize the call wallpaper for each contact for the first time. You need to go to the contacts, then in the overflow menu in the edit section you can choose a video background image from four presets or add your own specific image.
Camera app changes
The Samsung camera app remains one of the most robust on Android, and One UI 5.0 Beta brings even more features to an already jam-packed experience. If you want to automatically watermark your pictures, now for the first time you can do it natively on Samsung phones. You can customize image watermarks almost entirely with font and layout options, and – following the plethora of Chinese smartphones – also have the option to tag your specific Galaxy model.
Pro mode tools
There are some important usability additions in Camera Pro mode. A histogram function has been added to help you manage the distribution of light within a scene pointed to by your camera system. A quick icon allows you to view or close this in your viewfinder.
Each lens also includes an info panel with some details on what shooting scenarios are best suited to using that particular lens length or lens. For beginners, this could help increase their understanding of each lens while encouraging experimentation.
Quick Settings Changes
New notification layout and optimizations
Samsung optimizes the quick settings panel in One UI 5.0 Beta with a more pixel-like layout for incoming notifications. A larger leftmost app icon indicates where an app notification came from. If you receive multiple notifications from the same app, an icon stack indicates that there is more than one unread notification waiting.
Rounded M3 buttons for deeper notification settings and the quick delete function are also used when the quick settings panel is fully expanded.
Like the Pixel, there’s an Active Apps option, but to access it you have to tap the top-right Kebab menu button. This section simply shows what apps are running in the background or using system resources. You can disable or pause these apps from the quick pop-up panel.
A revised version of the classic Over the Horizon ringtone has been added in One UI 5.0 Beta made by BTS member SUGA.
At the very top of the settings menu, there’s a special “Connected devices” that lets you quickly manage any external connections you might have on your phone. This includes things like Samsung DeX, any previously connected earbuds, Link to Windows, and more.
Guest mode in accounts and backup
For some reason, One UI removed a multi-user mode, and it’s felt like a glaring omission on Samsung phones for a while. One UI 5.0 Beta restores a guest mode feature in Accounts and Backup settings. This allows you to set up multiple people on one device with unique apps and accounts, making it ideal for work and personal accounts when you’d rather not use the Knox feature.
Android 13 Easter Egg
Samsung has added the emoji-laden Android 13 Easter egg in One UI 5.0 Beta, which you can access by going to Settings > About phone > Software info > and tap Android version. Now just set the time to 1 o’clock and you’ll be greeted with the bubble-heavy Easter egg. Long press will change the bubbles into random emojis. Unlike Pixel phones, the Samsung emoji style is preferred, which gives the Easter egg a bit of a weird feel.
Labs adds multitasking gestures
The Advanced Features section contains the popular experimental labs. Samsung often adds a bunch of early features, and One UI 5.0 Beta lets you enable more multitasking gestures. You can swipe down from the top corner of an app to quickly enter pop-up mode, or you can swipe up with two fingers from the bottom of the screen to quickly enter split-screen mode. A popup lets you quickly select the second app from a mini app drawer.
Samsung adds or mimics the security hub recently added to Pixel devices. This new panel lets you know when there are security issues and changes you can make to improve your overall security on the device. This also acts as a one-stop shop for all security and privacy-related settings on Galaxy devices.
Improved About Phone section.
The “About phone” section in Settings now includes an image preview of your device with the correct color and model.
You can now extract text from images and more places just by long-pressing on photos with text or on text entry boxes. The Gallery app even includes a “T” icon for quick recognition to pull text out of images when recognized. If you’re using the default Samsung keyboard, there’s a new “extract text” option that quickly launches the camera to drag text and type directly into a text field.
What is your favorite feature of the new One UI 5.0 Beta?
Samsung has added a number of quality of life supplements that will surely be helpful and useful for Galaxy owners. What do you think is the best new feature? Let us know in the comments section below.
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